Ditch the microwave popcorn and make your own!

My house smells like a movie theatre right now!  That’s because one of my favourite nighttime snacks is popcorn.  I used to go through those convenient microwave bags like crazy – until I realized how many chemicals are in them.  It’s so easy and just as quick to make you own, and you don’t even need an air popper.  Check it out…popcorn3.I’ve tried two methods – stove-top and microwave. I prefer the stove-top method because I find it tastes better and the popcorn is fluffier.  I also like to avoid the microwave as much as possible 🙂 But when you’re in a pinch, it will do!

Method #1 – Stovetop

What you need:

A medium to large pot, depending on how much you’re making. Don’t forget, popcorn expands about 8 times its size!
1/4 cup kernels (1/4 cup is considered one serving and yields about 4 cups of popped popcorn)
1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil

Add the oil and only 2 or 3 kernels into the pot and place on the stove on high heat.  Cover with the lid – unless you want popcorn flying everywhere!  You know the oil is hot enough when those few kernels have popped.  Add the remaining kernels and give it a good shake.  popcorn2Continue shaking the pot so that all the kernels get popped –  kind of like how you used to make jiffy-pop!

Anyone else think 80s commercials are creepy and weird? How the heck did we watch television back then?

Once the popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops, remove from stove, transfer to a bowl, season and devour!stovetoppopcorn1

Method #2 – Microwave

I bet you didn’t think you could make your own microwave popcorn with just a brown paper lunch bag?? (or liquor store bag – don’t judge, I like my wine!) Well you can! Here’s how…

What you need:
1 brown paper bag
1/4 cup kernels
1 Tbsp olive oil (or melted coconut oil)

Pour oil and kernels into the brown paper bag and shake.  Fold the flap over a few times.  Poke a couple of holes in the bag with a sharp knife. The oil may start to seep through, so place the bag on a microwave-safe plate lined with a paper towel. Microwave for about 2 to 2.5 minutes (or use your popcorn setting if your microwave has one.) Listen until the kernels are popping at no more than two seconds apart.  Stop the microwave and remove the bag. Be careful, it will be hot!popcorn1micropopcorn1OK, so I may have been too busy taking pictures and burnt a few – oops!

Keep an eye on the bag, it may start to come undone because of the air pressure which is why you poke the holes.  If it comes completely undone, stop the microwave and roll it back up.

Now onto my favourite part – the seasoning!!! Ditch those high-sodium, chemical-filled Kernel Seasons and try these delicious combos:

Traditional:  1-2 Tbsp Earth Balance, melted with a few dashes of Himalayan salt
Savoury: 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 tsp of each: fresh basil, garlic powder, parsley
Sweet: 1-2 Tbsp Earth Balance, melted; and 1 tsp of each: coconut sugar (or brown sugar) and cinnamon, dash of salt
Spicy: 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 tsp of each: paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, cracked pepper
Southwest: 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 tsp of each: chili powder, cumin, Himalayan salt
Superfood: 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 Tbsp hemp seeds, 2 Tbsp red palm oil, Himalayan salt

Another fun fact…apparently stove-top or air popped popcorn has more antioxidants than fruit! Of course, not to be replaced by fruit but definitely up there with healthier snack options over potato chips or crackers.  Snack on 🙂

How do you like your popcorn?!


  • Abby's Kitchen February 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Yeah, we’ve ditched microwave popcorn a long time ago. The hydrogenated oils, and gmo corn is definitely not good for our health. We pop our popcorn (organic non gmo) on the stove with a little bit of coconut oil too. Once popped we sprinkle with nutritional yeast and real salt.Yum! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • thehappyhealthfreak February 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      That’s awesome! I totally forgot about the nutritional yeast, that stuff on popcorn is the bomb 🙂

  • Traci February 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    This is a wonderful suggestion. I try to be healthy in so many areas, but microwave popcorn has been a pitfall for me. It defeats the purpose to switch to natural peanut butter to avoid the hydrogenated oils if I still get them in popcorn!

    • thehappyhealthfreak February 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Give it a try!! Even the brown-bag mircowave version is surprisingly fast. I think you’ll be hooked 🙂

  • Laura March 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    The brown paper bag – microwave version is a real shock!!!!!! It makes sense though….but I guess I’ve never heard of making it that way before, ever! Jon and I have popcorn air popper machine, so we use that. You’re 100% right about the traditional microwave popcorn. I haven’t had it in ages for the same reason. Recently I thought I’d enjoy it at a friend’s house, but I couldn’t! It tasted too processed. I guess I’ve spoiled myself 🙂

    • thehappyhealthfreak March 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I know! The first time I heard about it I had no idea it would work out so well. I’d love an air popper I just never got around to buying one and had used the stove-top method for so long that I’m just used to it now!
      Isn’t it funny how you can taste the chemicals in things now after not having it for so long!? I feel the same way about “diet” aspartame drinks, which I used to have ALL the time. I can’t even stomach it now….and that’s a good thing 🙂

      • Laura March 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        Definitely! The diet pops always have some funky can’t-put-your-finger-on-it taste lol. If I’m having a pop (a rarity), it’s the traditional one for me!


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